Lap Band Surgery

Based on the statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on obesity, it states that more than one billion adults around the world are suffering from excessive weight. Obesity tends to make a person insecure about his physical appearance, not to mention that it may also lead him to lose his self-esteem.

But the greatest disadvantage of being an overweight is the fact that it brings about countless health problems that if not properly addressed may lead to a tragic end. In fact, when people are overweight, they are more susceptible to other risky medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and cancer. As a result of this, medical experts have successfully developed solutions to address the problems related to obesity. One such effective solution is the Lap-Band surgery.

Lap-Band surgery against obesity

Lap-Band surgery is a kind of weight loss procedure which gives obese patients the once in a lifetime opportunity to be in control of their weight. The surgery involves the implant of an inflatable band called “Lap-Band” around the upper part of the stomach.

The Lap-Band is inflated with saline solution through an “access port” connected to it under the skin, which is placed on the top part of the abdomen. As it inflates, the Lap-Band also tightens around the upper part of the stomach and this process basically creates a smaller stomach pouch. When a patient consumes food, the pouch fills up faster but the food takes time to move from the pouch to the rest of the stomach. The result would be that the patient will feel full quickly and eat less.

Lap-Band surgery takes only about 30 minutes to one hour to finish and the patient can already go home on the same day of the operation. Within the year after the procedure, most patients lose between 50% and 80% of their excess weight provided that the patient closely follows his surgeon’s instructions.

Candidates’ requirements

The impressive outcome makes it appealing to overweight individuals to undergo Lap-Band surgery, but what does it take for a person to be considered a candidate?

Morbid obesity

One of the most important considerations for Lap-Band surgery is that experts suggest that it should only be done on patients who are under the cases of severe morbidity. Based on the requirements set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the procedure is approved only for individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or those with a BMI between 35 and 39 associated with severe medical problems which include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol.

Emotional and mental readiness

Apart from being physically approved, a prospective candidate should also be mentally and emotionally prepared before undergoing this delicate procedure. As with any surgical operations, there are also risks to Lap-Band surgery like enlargement of the stomach pouch or slippage of the Lap-Band which leads to heartburn and vomiting.

Cost of procedure

Lap-Band surgery remains to be a relatively expensive procedure nowadays. It requires a lot of thinking, especially for people who may not have enough finances to cover the expenses. Although this may seem not a relevant factor, money remains to be an integral part in the operation. In fact, in the United States alone, Lap-Band surgery may cost as high as $8,000 to $30,000 for the entire procedure.

When considering for a Lap-Band surgery, it is always important to be aware of these factors in order to be properly informed, not only on its advantages, but more importantly on the risks involved.